Mainstreaming gender equality in Scottish Government funded international development projects and programmes: guidance note

A guidance note on mainstreaming gender equality for applications and bids for Scottish Government funded international development projects and/or programmes. The note outlines our minimum criteria for scoring, aligned with the OECD DAC Gender Equality Policy Marker.

Terms Commonly Used in this Guidance Note

DAC” means the OECD Development Assistance Committee, which describes itself as “a unique international forum of many of the largest providers of aid, including 32 members”.[33]

Do no harm” is a principle that was developed in “response to the growing recognition of the potential negative effects of aid”[34] Applying this principle means putting measures in place to avoid exposing individuals or groups of people to additional risks through an intervention, and giving consideration to how potential negative effects on communities, economies and the environment, can be mitigated.[35]

“Gender Responsive”: programming that strengthens gender equality.[36] Gender responsive programmes systematically integrate the specific needs of different genders, and will include actions that try to reduce gender inequality within communities.[37]

“Gender Sensitive”: programming that considers gender equality, also known as “gender aware”.[38] Gender sensitive programmes recognise the specific needs of different genders and acknowledge gender power dynamics.[39] Also, see Section 3 for a further explanation of “What is a gender sensitive indicator?”

“Gender Transformative”: programming which changes gender norms and power relations.[40] Gender transformative programmes will have specific actions that contribute to long term sustainable changes in societies to address the structural and social root causes of gender inequality.[41]

“Intersectionality” is a term that recognises that people can experience compound discrimination, when multiple dimensions and systems of inequality interact with one another and create distinct experiences and outcomes.[42]

“Mainstreaming” (equality) is the process of embedding equality considerations and practices in all decisions and processes[43]. Gender mainstreaming is often pursued in international development work as a strategic approach for embedding gender equality considerations across all international development policies, projects, and programmes.

OECD” means the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which describes itself as “an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives.” Their goal is to shape policies that “foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all”. [44]



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